Aquila, also known as the Eagle, is a constellation composed of Aquila and Antinous, the latter of which is no longer considered a constellation.

Mythology and Legends

The Sumerians referred to Aquila as Aluls, or the Great Spirit. It was the symbol of their noontide sun.

Aquila was also the Eagle of Zeus, who bore Ganymede to the stars. The Persians, Hebrews, Arabs and Greeks all knew Aquila as the Eagle.


                                       __-*
                  Tarazed    ____----*-     The Eagle's
                        *----                  Tail
                       / \
                      /   \
              Altair *     \
                    /       \
           Alshain *         \
                  /           \
                 /             *
                /               \
               /                 \
              /   Eta             \
    *        / __--*--__           \
    |       *--         --*--__     \
    *      /                   --__  \
     \    /                        ---*
      *--*                                  M11
  (Antinous)                                 X


   Notes: M11 is an open star cluster. The head of
          Aquila is comprised of five stars from the
          ancient constellation Antinous. Eta Aquarii
          is a variable star with a period of 3.75 days.

In 369A.D. an exceptionally bright supernova appeared near Altair. Altair itself is a magnitude 1 star, 18 light-years away, and approching us at 16 miles per second. It is approximately 10 times as bright as our sun. Altair is a binary system.